Functional safety is considered to be a part of overall safety, which is dependent on the entity or system operating normally and correctly in response to the inputs provided to it. We are surrounded by systems at a variety of places such as factories, public places, offices, and electrical devices at home, which are likely to pose a threat to our safety if they malfunction under certain conditions. Hence, they are provided with appropriate safety mechanisms which get activated under the condition of threat and thereby, prevent any loss and damage to humans or the environment in which they operate. The main aim of functional safety systems is to reduce the risk to a minimal possible value and thus, reduce the damage or loss arising out of the risk.
Failures in the system can occur due to various reasons, which include human error, random failures of hardware or software, operating environment such as extremely high temperature, electromagnetic interference, incorrect specification of the system, and negligence in taking precautions. A system can be claimed for its functional safety if is certified to one of the regularized functional safety standard such as IEC 61508, ISO 26262, IEC EN 62304 and ISO 12207, pertaining to the industries to which a system or a product belongs to. The safety standards ensure that the products are built, designed, implemented, operated under their prescribed operating conditions. Safety Integrity Level (SIL) is the measure of risk reduction with safety functions. Various electrical sensors, valves, actuators, and relays, are used to ensure the functional safety of the systems. The trend that can be seen is the use of programmable logic controllers and digital communication systems for the functional safety. Furthermore, a number of intelligent sensors, transmitters, and actuators are increasingly being integrated into products and systems to ensure their functional safety.
Mandatory safety standards and government policies pertaining to the safety of the personnel and the systems involved are be key factors driving the functional safety market. Increasing awareness and growing concern regarding the safety of individuals is another factor boosting the functional safety market. Increase in the number of manufacturing industries in emerging economies such as India and China is also propelling the functional safety market. However, the high cost of installation of functional safety systems is poised to be a major restraint for the market. Nevertheless, the increasing implementation of functional safety systems by various industries is said to positively impact the market.
The functional safety market has been segmented based on device, system, end-user, and geography. Based on device, the functional safety market can be divided into safety sensors, safety switches, programmable safety systems, emergency stop devices, final control elements, and others. In terms of system, the functional safety market can be segmented into safety instrumented systems and industrial control systems. Based on end-user, the market is segregated into process industry, which includes oil & gas, power generation, food & beverages, chemical, pharmaceuticals, discrete industry which includes automotive, railways, medical and others. In terms of geography, the functional safety market can be segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and South America.
Major players operating in the functional safety market include Rockwell Automation, Inc, ABB Ltd., Welspun, Schneider Electric SE, General Electric Co., Omron Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., Intel Corporation, Siemens AG, Yokogawa Electric Corporation, HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and Emerson electric co.